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Project Seeks Volunteers to Combat Human Trafficking During the Kentucky Derby


An organization dedicated to ending human trafficking is asking for as many as 200 outreach volunteers to help combat human trafficking during the Kentucky Derby season.Cities that host national events such as the Derby see "a huge increase in the number of potential victims" of human trafficking, said Matthew Clark, director of the Redlight Project. Clark said another concern is that many people, particularly minors, who run away or get lost in cities become entangled in human trafficking. "So in a time like this when there are a lot of people who don’t know their way around, in a time like this where there’s a lot of traffic going back and forth during a major event there is even more of an opportunity for those who participate in this criminal behavior—especially with minors—to get them involved in this cycle of human trafficking that they very rarely easily extricate themselves from," Clark said. Redlight representatives are hosting volunteer orientation and educational programs through the evening of the Derby. Redlight Project is calling on Louisville hotels, businesses, student and community groups as well as motivated individuals to join the cause. Volunteers are needed to distribute literature, reach out to victims in the weeks preceding the Derby and help to raise awareness about the violations of human rights that occur during major events. People who wish to volunteer for Derby time can go through orientation and be “up and running” within a few days, Clark said.  “Our volunteer process is very stringent," Clark said. "We’re looking for those who are victim-centered, who are willing to be in places where not everybody might feel comfortable spending their time and are looking to understand more than to be understood, to hear about problems rather than just assigning a solution.” Teams will be strategically assembled around heavily-trafficked sites near Churchill Downs and throughout Louisville. Business and hotels which wish to participate are encouraged to contact a Redlght representative. For information about how to sign-up, visit redlightproject.org. (Image via Shutterstock)